Virender Sehwag picked in the Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award Committee

Justice (retd) CK Thakkar will head the committee that is set to sit together on August 3 to determine the awardees.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Virender Sehwag one of India’s most successful openers has been picked in a 12-member committee appointed by the central government with the responsibility of selecting the athletes for the Khel Ratna as well as Arjuna award for the year. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is the highest sporting honour in India whereas the Arjuna award is the Sports Ministry’s recognition for exceptional contribution in sports every year.

Justice (retd) CK Thakkar will head the committee that is set to sit together on August 3 to determine the awardees. The former Indian opener himself is a recipient of the award as he won the Arjuna Award in the year 2002. He was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 2010. Along with Sehwag one of the country’s most successful track athletes, the legend PT Usha has also been named in the committee that comprises of athletes, journalists and members of the governing bodies and ministry.


The committee

Apart from Sehwag and Usha 12-member committee is constituted by: Mukund Killekar (boxing), Sunil Dabbas (Kabaddi), M R Mishra (Journalist), S Kannan (Journalist), Sanjeev Kumar (Journalist), Latha Madhvi (Para athlete), Anil Khanna (sports administrator), Injeti Srivastava (DG, SAI) and Rajvir Singh (joint Secretary, Sports Ministry).

Two cricketers to be honoured with Khel Ratna

Among cricketers, only Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar who was conferred in 1997-98 and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni bestowed upon the honour in 2007 has won the Khel Ratna award. 1998 was a special year for Sachin as he famously played the desert storm knocks in Sharjah against Australia while MS Dhoni led the Indian team to the inaugural World T20 title in 2007.

The list of the Arjuna awardees is an extensive one as 49 cricketers have been given the award. The most recent names in the list include India captain Virat Kohli (2013), ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2014), limited-overs opener Rohit Sharma (2015) and Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (2016).